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Valerie Hardcastle (University of Cincinnati), “The Microbiome and the Brain: A New Revolution in Neuroscience?”

24 April 2018 | 14 h 30 min - 16 h 00 min

Valerie Hardcastle is Professor of Philosophy, Psychology, and Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati. An internationally recognized scholar, Valerie is the author of five books and over 150 essays. She studies the nature and structure of interdisciplinary theories in the cognitive sciences and has focused primarily on developing a philosophical framework for understanding conscious phenomena responsive to neuroscientific, psychiatric, and psychological data.

Tilte of the talk: “The Microbiome and the Brain: A New Revolution in Neuroscience?”

Part 1:

Part 2 (end of the talk, followed by comments made by Jan Pieter Konsman):


What counts as a revolution in a scientific domain like neuroscience? Thomas Kuhn’s views on scientific change are well known — and much challenged. Yet, his basic perspectives have remained guiding touchstones in the philosophy of science. In this presentation I examine whether advances in our understanding of the microbiome and its influence on brain function constitute a genuine scientific revolution. If they do not, is this a problem for neo-Kuhnian approaches to understanding scientific change?  Are we perhaps witnessing a Kuhnian-style revolution in how we understand scientific progress in neuroscience? To answer these questions, I shall examine the putative connections between the microbiome and Autism Spectrum Disorder, anxiety, and normal brain development. I shall conclude that what constitutes progress in neuroscience is far more multifarious than many philosophers assume.

Valerie Hardcastle is invited by PhilInBioMed, ImmunoConcept, and Thomas Pradeu’s ERC-funded project IDEM.


24 April 2018
14 h 30 min - 16 h 00 min
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Philosophy & Biology Seminar (Thomas Pradeu)


Salle de conférence du Centre de génomique fonctionnelle